Reexamining Organizational Memory

TitleReexamining Organizational Memory
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsAckerman, MS, Halverson, CA
JournalCommunications of the ACM
Keywordsdcog, distributed cognition, distributed cognition theory, field study, organizational memory

Reconceptualizing how an interpersonal memory—particularly one including people and technology—may be defined.After nearly 10 years of research, “organizational memory” (OM) has become overworked and confused. Burdened by a practical wish to reuse organizational experience, researchers have often ignored critical functions of an organization’s memory in order to focus on only a few methods for augmenting memory. It is time for a reexamination.In this article we step back and investigate where memory exists currently within an organizational setting, rather than focusing on potential technical enhancements. In order to accomplish this we study OM within a telephone helpline that answers human-resource questions at a well-established Silicon Valley company